Water Care Catchment Partnership

Learn about our role in improving the water environment.

About the project


Why is this needed?

Water matters in Cambridgeshire, but it is a natural asset under increasing pressure with many conflicting demands being made upon its use and management. Water supply, water quality, declining biodiversity and flood risk management are all areas of concern for the organisations professionally required to consider them and communities who live surrounded by our waterways.

The Water Care Partnership is a Catchment Partnership – these Partnerships are active across England and consist of groups of partners and community members (led by a host organisation) who collaborate to improve the water environment in a catchment area. The Water Care Partnership is concerned with the Old Bedford including Middle Level catchment (see photo) and the host organisation is Cambridgeshire ACRE. Partners include: Middle Level Commissioners, Angling Trust, RSPB, Inland Waterways Association, Natural England, Middle Level Watermen’s Club, WWT Welney, Cambridgeshire County Council, NFU, Anglian Water, Environment Agency, Wildfowlers Association, Hundred Foot IDB and Histon and Impington Angling Club. Catchment Partnerships are funded by the Environment Agency and supported by the Rivers Trust.

The Partnership is a voice for local concerns and a mechanism for resolving issues either by directly working with a partner or developing work streams and projects to address key issues. The partnership also influences the emerging strategies and policies of large organisations such as the Environment Agency and Water Companies. The Partnership meets quarterly with additional working groups meeting outside of these main meetings.

Water Care Partners have developed a shared understanding of the problems in their catchment and created an Action Plan to effectively target actions and funds where they will have multiple benefits for people and wildlife. The Water Care Action Plan (see link below) lists projects currently underway and aspirational projects.

How can you get involved?

If you have an interest in the water environment and would like to learn more, meet the organisations managing it and contribute towards improving it then you would be welcome to attend a Water Care Partnership meeting. Contact us for more details.

What impact has our work had?

Some of the Partnership’s achievements include:


In 2019 partners were asked what difference they felt the partnership had made. Some of the comments received are shown below:

“The difference that we make is positive, as we bring together interested parties, and bring together a wide range of stakeholders. This highlights that there are mutual issues and shared values.”

“We have made an important difference in helping to bring together wide-ranging stakeholders to identify and start to address key issues facing the Old Bedford catchment.”

“I think the partnership has made a difference. It has given the Ouse Washes a voice that is well heard.”


Watch an animation showing how the Ouse Washes flood storage reservoir works. Note there is no sound to this video animation.

Play Video

Useful links

Who can I talk to about this work?